Africa to save US$5 billion through cross border payment system

Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
AFRICA is set to save more than US$5 billion annually in payment transaction costs through the operationalisation of the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS).

The payment and settlement system, which facilitates instant cross border payments in local currencies between countries as well as boosting trade under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), was launched virtually last week.

“Ghana President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, represented by the Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia in Accra, hosted and presided over the commercial launch of the PAPSS, observing that the ground-breaking platform will save Africa more than US$5 billion annually in payment transaction costs, while it plays an increasingly significant role in accelerating the continent’s transactions underpinning the operationalisation of the AfCFTA,” said AfreximBank.

It said President Nana Akufo-Addo complimented AfreximBank and AfCFTA secretariat for the establishment of the payment system citing PAPSS as a major leap in releasing the continent from overdependence on external players and factors in achieving a long yearned-for acceleration in intra-continental trade and investment.

“This launch is a result of many months of hard work, resolve and commitment towards achieving set objectives for the growth of the continent in trade.

“All Central Banks in Africa must now join up and ensure seamless transfer of funds deploying this most practical and important African solution to an African problem,” he said.

Developed by AfreximBank, PAPSS is expected to boost intra-African trade by transforming and facilitating payment, clearing and settlement for cross-border trade across Africa.

In his remarks at the launch event, AfreximBank president Professor Benedict Oramah was quoted as saying:  “We are eager to build upon the African Continental Free Trade Area’s creation of a single market throughout Africa, and PAPSS provides the state-of-the-art financial market infrastructure connecting African markets to each other thereby enabling instant cross-border payments in respective local African currencies for cross-border trade.”

He said AfreximBank as the main settlement agent for PAPSS provides settlement guarantees on the payment system and overdraft facilities to all settlement agents in partnership with Africa’s participating Central Banks. — @KazungaOliver

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